The current COVID-19 situation and subsequent has hit football clubs hard, with many sides in the lower divisions struggling as the virus compounds existing issues. However, the experience of Muang Loei United could be a particularly insightful and informative one, as the side’s unique long-term strategy is being put to the test. The club’s board member and technical director Albert Mingphakanee sat down with Football Tribe’s Gian Chansrichawla to discuss his club’s general approach to development, and how they are using this to their advantage in their current situation.
G: Please give a quick background about your team has fared in T3 so far this season
A: So right now in T3 we have only played two games. The first was against Chulalongkorn and the second was Chasoengsao FC. So the first game we lost, and the second game we won, and that was the beginning of COVID so we have stopped until now. We’ve heard news that Thai League 3 and 4 are combining, and that’s basically it. We are just getting our team ready again for September.
G: Was the standard of football a big step up to T3, or was it pretty much the same quality of teams?
A: Of course it’s different. T4 is still a miniature league, but with T3 once you get in it, it’s more competitive. People are spending more money in the club, getting the best players. The salary cap has increased, as well as the team’s value. So, at the end of the last year we decided; we have high hopes of winning T3 to go to T2 but in reality, it’s hard because of the players’ level, [especially] for foreign players, as the rate of their salary caps make a big difference. Also, the team’s management, and the way they sustain in T3 for a long time.